Frequently Asked Questions
How can The Hostel @ San Jorge offer such cheap hotel rates?
We offer ‘no frills’ rooms that offer cheap hotel rates without being a ‘cheap hotel’. The main reason is that our rooms are rather small, so we assume you’ll be out exploring San Juan more than sitting in your room.
We don’t have fancy furniture, artwork, appliances or designer style.
We do offer small but clean rooms with comfortable beds (acquired from a 4-star hotel that refurnished their rooms), extra pillows, ensuite bathrooms, flat screen TV (cable) and luggage racks. Not bad for such a cheap hotel rate!
At The Hostel @ San Jorge – your room will be cleaned and made up on arrival with clean linens, pillows, towels and soap/shampoo.
After November 1, 2013, there will no longer be daily maid service in each room. However, if you stay longer than one week, light housekeeping and change of linens will be provided every seven days. If you need new towels or sheets during your stay – just see the front desk to exchange. If you want additional full maid service – just see the front desk to schedule service (surcharge may apply).
Are you a TRAVELER or a Tourist?
At The Hostal @ San Jorge, we offer ‘no frills’ rooms that assume you’ll be out exploring San Juan’s history, beaches, nightlife, arts and cultures rather than sitting in your room all day. Our rooms are small but comfortable so you have a great place to sleep and more money to spend experiencing Puerto Rico!
Do you have refrigerators or microwaves?
We have vending machines and microwaves available in the lobby at all hours.
Refrigerators are available in your room with advance notice (additional charge applies).
Do you include breakfast?
Free coffee is available every morning in the lobby.
Our restaurant is currently under renovation, but there are several restaurants within a few blocks that are open for breakfast.
Abracadabra – our local hipster hangout is famous for their weekend brunch, served from 10am – 3pm every Saturday and Sunday.
Boulevard Café is 2 blocks away at Cobian’s Plaza.
Subway is 2.5 blocks away.
The food court at Pueblo Supermarket is only 3.5 blocks away at the Cuidadela condo complex.
El Mason sandwich shop is near the Museum of Art.
What is the difference between Standard Rooms and BUDGET Rooms?
BUDGET rooms are a little smaller, have unusual configurations, or have very small bathrooms that are ‘partitioned’ from the sleeping area rather than a completely separate space. If you’re traveling alone – these are a great choice! To book a budget room, please call the hotel directly at 787-727-1223.
Do you have security boxes?
The hotel has a safe in the office if you would like to check your valuables.
Do you provide parking?
The Hostal @ San Jorge does not have a parking lot. There is parking available on streets surrounding the hotel, but space may be tight during business hours. There is a secure parking lot at San Jorge Children’s Hospital on Calle del Parque – about a 7 minute walk from the hotel.
Why should I choose your location – it looks like I’ll have to take a bus for many attractions?
San Juan is really a series of neighborhoods, so no one location is perfect for everyone. We have much better public transportation than either the Condado or Isla Verde Tourist areas where bus service is limited and you may have to take taxis to get around. We have great public transportation just outside our door and you save lots of money choosing our location and exploring San Juan by public transportation. Click here for bus guide
How late do busses run?
Public busses and the Urban Train start at about 5:30 am and the last bus from Old San Juan leaves at about 11:00 pm. If you miss the last bus, a taxi will cost about $15 – $20 from Old San Juan.
How much does the bus and train cost?
Bus fare is 75 cents – exact change is required in coins – no paper bills accepted.
The Urban Train is $1.50 each way and you have to purchase a card at the machines outside the station. Hang onto the ticket, you’ll need it to exit the station and it also provides one free transfer to any public bus back to the hotel (take the T3 or T21 3 stops – you’ll see the hotel on the left or you can also take the C35 or T9 2 stops – just after the gas station)
Will I get lost?
The bus system is easy. When you see the bus coming – wave at the driver so he knows you want him to stop.
T3 busses headed toward Old San Juan will travel with normal traffic along Ponce de Leon – pass the Condado Lagoon and then continue to Old San Juan and stop in the bus terminal.
T21 Bus will go on Ponce de Leon and turn right Ave De Diego, past the Museum of Art and down the hill to Ashford Avenue. It will then turn left through the Condado tourist area before continuing on into Old San Juan and the bus terminal.
When you reach the bus terminal, you can either walk up the hill past Banco Popular to Plaza Colon – or look for the free trolley that stops on the corner of the bus station. Old San Juan is only about 10 blocks square, so its easy to walk. The bus can be very slow – but is a good option if you have difficulty climbing hills.
No matter which bus you take coming home – you’ll know you are close when you see the big orange ORIENTAL BANK sign on your left. There are two more stops until you get off. Your bus stop is just across from Leonardo’s Tuxedo Shop in front of the Euro-Space furniture store. We’re just one block from this stop. If you miss the stop, you’ll go past the hotel and get the next stop which is only a few minutes walk back to the hotel.
Can I find a Taxi at the hotel?
Yes! We have a taxi company located just outside our front door, so its always easy to arrange transportation. You can just ask the front desk clerk to call a taxi or contact AA American Taxi at http://americantaxipr.com or call (787) 982-3466. If you plan to be out very late, it may be a good idea to print out this map to show the taxi driver on your way home. Click here to print out a map you can give to your taxi driver
Do I have to walk to the beach?
The best beach in San Juan is at Ocean Park – a low-rise area that is about a 15 minute walk on Calle San Jorge. Click here for a printable guide to walk to the beach.
You can also take the T3 or T21 Bus to the public beach at Escambrón – just pull the yellow cord when you go past the Condado Lagoon and the bus will stop at a large park near the Caribe Hilton. Walk through the park and take the walkway over the road to the beach. This is a favorite beach for families since there are showers, bathrooms, food stalls and an offshore reef that protects the beach from big waves or undertow. Out past the reef, this is the area known as ‘El Ocho’ where surfers find the best waves in San Juan!
If you want to visit Condado beaches – take the T21 and it will eventually wind through the tourist zone. Best beaches here are by the Marriott (strong waves/undertow) or at the small public beach and snorkeling reef known as ‘Playita del Condado’ that is next to theCondado Plaza Hilton Hotel.
Where is the closest Supermarket and Liquor Store?
The 24 hour PUEBLO supermarket is just 3 blocks from the hotel. Just go to Ponce de Leon Avenue, take a left and go past 3 traffic lights. You’ll see the plaza for the Cuidadela condo complex on the right. Just walk to the back of the plaza and you’ll see Pueblo. You can buy beer and wine from the shelf, but you will have to ask the cashier for any liquor (see display case after cashiers).
Pueblo also has a pharmacy and a food court – but they each close about 7 pm.
There is also a 24 hour mini-mart at the gas station one block from the hotel. When leaving the hotel, go down the hill to the left past La Casona restaurant and then turn left at Fernandez Juncos Avenue. You’ll see the gas station across the street to the left of Caribbean Business/Casiano Communications. Its more expensive than the supermarket, but closer if you just need a few things.
Are there restaurants nearby?
Our restaurant is currently closed for renovation. For other restaurants, go to Ponce de Leon and take a left. Walk until you see Abracadabra, our local hipster cafe. One more block and you’ll find the La Nueva Escalera for Dominican specialties. Calle del Parque has Café del Parque – just turn left at the Arriví Theater. Further down Ponce de Leon you’ll pass Subway, Libros AC bar and Bistro, a health food store with vegetarian cafeteria, Alfredos pasta bar, DondeSea Food Truck and another Subway. In the Ciudadela condo complex you have a food court at Pueblo Supermarket with pasta station, burgers, burritos, breakfast, sushi, salad station and coffee/juice bar. Cuidadela also has the new Yolo restaurant for Puerto Rican tapas & creative local cuisine.
If you turn right on Ave de Diego you’ll find Mumbai Indian restaurant, Hacianda San Pedro coffee shop, Basico Healthy Kitchen, Barrio restaurant, Media Mixto, Tutto Bene Pizza Restaurant, Bistro de Paris and El Mason – local sandwich and coffee shop plus Chef Mario Pagan’s signature restaurant at the Museum of At. Lots of options at all price ranges, so you’ll never go hungry!
Note: we also have one of San Juan’s high-end Spanish restaurants La Casona just next door which is very popular for large formal dinners and especially weddings. Please check the menu/prices first. It is very formal, often used for wedding receptions and your dinner may cost more than your hotel room.
It is also an easy walk down Calle San Jorge to the hip, bohemian area of Loiza street with lots of new restaurants, shops and nightlife. Just go out our front door and walk up the hill to San Mateo Church and then down the hill past San Jorge Children’s Hospital to Calle Loiza.
How do I get to Plaza Las Americas – the largest shopping mall in the Caribbean?
Getting to ‘Plaza’ as the locals call it – is easy. Just go to Ponce de Leon and take a left and go one block. You’ll see the bus stop in front of theEuro-Space designer furniture store. (do not wait at the bus shelter in front of the parking lot on the ‘San Jorge’ side of the street, this is an old bus shelter no longer used).
Wait for the bus that says M3 or T3 – and take it for about 4 minutes to the last stop at the Tren Urbano (you could also walk down the hill in about 8-10 minutes).
All busses to Plaza Las Americas now originate at the train station terminal.
How do I get to the new Mall of San Juan?
Go to the Urban Train Station and take the train to the Piñero Station. Change here for the bus that goes directly to the Mall of San Juan and Airport. Click here for a guide to bus service to Mall of San Juan
Are your beds comfortable?
Even though our prices are low – we know that the most important part of a hotel is your bed. We use the same brand of mattress as many upscale hotels – so you will get a good night’s sleep.
Do you offer maid service?
If you have a bed in one of the dorms – your room will be cleaned and made up on arrival with clean linens, pillows, towels and soap/shampoo. Housekeeping will clean the common areas of the hostel daily, but not make up your bed.
If you have a private room in the hotel – you will have daily maid service.
How extensive is your Cable TV selection?
We have approximately 99 stations ranging from local Puerto Rico channels to major US networks, popular cable channels such as Bravo, Food Network, History, Travel, E!, AMC, Tuner Classic Movies plus news networks such as CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN en Español.
Do you have Wi-Fi?
We have a newly installed ‘state-of-the-art’ wi-fi system throughout the hotel. High-speed internet is FREE in all rooms, lobby and garden patio. If you need lots of capacity for lots of streaming videos or large uploads – we offer broadband service at a daily surcharge.
Ask for your password at the front desk. If you need broadband service, the front desk will sell you a card with a special password that is good for 24 hours after your first login with the broadband password.
Note: to receive your login screen, go to your home page or ‘reload’ your page.
What if I don’t bring my computer?
We have a public computer in the lobby with internet access. Please limit use to 15 minutes if there are others waiting to use the computer.
Can I safely walk to nightclubs from the hotel?
Like any major city – it is best to be aware of your surroundings at night and not show any expensive jewelry, watches, cameras, etc. Our Santurce neighborhood can be very quiet at night, but we have never had problems with guests going out at night.
In the same building as our hotel, there is a small gay club – Zal si Puedes (Escape if you can) with drag queens on weekends. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
1 block away is Abracadabra ‘Counter-Café’ with Jazz on Friday night.
2 blocks to La Terrazza de Bonanza – with typical ‘Bomba’ music on Monday nights.
2.5 blocks to Soho nightclub downstairs at La Nueva Escaper restaurant.
3 blocks to Temptation Disco – open late 7 every night. After work happy hours on Friday. Primarily gay, but everyone is welcome!
4 blocks brings you to the leading arts club – La Respuesta which is even open on Monday nights.
5 blocks finds The Palace gay bar on Ponce de Leon near De Diego Ave. Go around the corner for Tia Maria gay bar with gay karaoke on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights.
Follow the large lizzard mural by the Fine Arts Center to find ‘El Local’ alternate music club.
A few more blocks will bring you to The Plan B (pizzeria that turns into a dance club after midnight on weekends) or Bar Ber O on Calle Loiza.
You can also walk or just on the bus to ‘Plaza del Mercado’ for lots of music, bars and restaurants Wed-Sun nights.
Are you Gay-Friendly?
YES! We have one of San Juan’s smallest, but friendliest gay bars located in the same building as the hotel. Zal Si Puedes is local slang for ‘Escape if you can’ and you’ll understand on weekend nights when the 14-seat bar is packed with up to 50 people enjoying some of San Juan’s best drag queens performing Latina Divas with some Barbara Strisand and Donna Summers thrown in for good measure.
2 blocks around the corner on Fernandez Juncos Avenue is Xteamworks, open every night from 6pm.
We’re just 3 short blocks to the newest gay disco – Temptations, open every night from 10pm and Fridays from 5pm.
We’re also a 7-10 minute walk from Tia Maria and The Palace. Other bars and clubs are further down Ponce de Leon – so its a 15-20 minute walk or just jump on the bus at the corner for SX, VIP, Scandalo or Circo.
There is a good map at Babylon Gay Guide to San Juan – we’re in the same location as Zal Si Puedes at Stop 24.
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